LeapFrog to provide gamified fitness trackers for kids. Is it really necessary?

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LeapGrog is known mainly for the development of tablets as well as other educational tech that is designed specifically for kids. Now they have also jumped on to the wearable bandwagon by creating a gamified, fitness focused wearable, specifically for kids. The device lets parents set fitness challenges for their kids, to help encourage them for physical activity, and to keep them active.

The device is named the LeapBand and it?s a brightly colored device that can be used like a wrist watch. It has a screen that displays cartoon animated animals, and encourages its wearer to engage in active play like ?hopping like a kangaroo? or ?wiggling like a worm?.

By doing these said activities, the wearer will earn points which can unlock a tamagotchi style virtual pet to keep them engaged and coming back for more. This gamification feature is already a sort of game, so this means that things can go two ways, first is, kids will find the LeapBand endlessly fun and engaging, or they could quickly get bored of the challenges especially if they feel it?s too easy, which will cause them to look for something more fun instead.

This move of having a wearable for kids is getting a lot of attention, as there are also other manufacturers who are also trying to tap into this market. Tinitell, for example, is a wrist mounted phone and GPS tracker that?s designed specifically for kids. There?s also Guardian, a Bluetooth tracker that aims to give parents peace of mind about where their kids are. There is a lot of potential for these devices, but it is still unsure how easily kids will be willing to adapt. They may adapt and like it at first, but the question would be how to retain their attention span and engagement.

The ?fitness made fun? approach seems like a good idea and there may be cases where it can do a lot of good especially for kids who aren?t very outgoing or active. On the other hand, the challenges are also there, and if companies like LeapFrog can continue to innovate and get both the parents and kids? attention, it could be a good market for them.

Photo Source: LeapFrog official website

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